Is my favorite tap dancer, Eleanor Powell, still alive?
—L. Robicheaw, Portland, Maine
Once dubbed “the world’s greatest tap dancer,” Eleanor Powell died of cancer in 1982 at the age of 69. The Springfield, Massachusetts, native made her Broadway debut in 1929 as a teenager and several years later wowed moviegoers with her machine-gun footwork in “Broadway Melody of 1936,” followed by a string of musicals into the early 1940s that included “Born to Dance,” “Rosalie,” “Broadway Melody of 1938” and “Honolulu.” After her divorce from actor Glenn Ford in 1959, she began a new career as a nightclub entertainer playing top venues in Las Vegas and New York into the 1960s.